Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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Larry G
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

It is what I remember up to the crossing....Not sure about if there was a diamond there.

Also you may not know this...The Line did not end at the BWL power plant. A spur came of that line just before the power plant and came up onto Grand Ave, crossed it and ran parallel with Grand to almost Ionia St. There was some sort of mill with a loading dock there. Today a parking lot sits on that ground!!!
Last edited by Larry G on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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SD80MAC
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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Years ago when they had the big Oldsmobile show downtown I remember walking across that bridge. Always wondered what line it was and where it went!
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by J T »

Larry, can you also confirm the existence of another spur off the BWL spur? All my life I've had a memory of tracks crossing Grand Ave at Ionia as I can picture riding in my mom's car in the early 70s and seeing that crossing. The building at the NE corner of Grand and Ionia is angled to allow tracks to curve around it (and even has loading dock doors). If you can remember this spur, do you know how far west of Grand it went and where to?

Image



EDIT:

Just saw your post above! Thank you for confirming! :D
Larry G wrote:It is what I remember up to the crossing....Not sure about if there was a diamond there.

Also you may not know this...The Line did not end at the BWL power plant. A spur came of that line just before the power plant and came up onto Grand Ave, crossed it and ran parallel with Grand to almost Michigan Ave. There was some sort of mill with a loading dock there. Today the Radison Hotel sits on that ground!!!

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

I think it came up Grand Parallel to the street on the west side to at least Ionia and perhaps to almost Mich Ave. I can remember box cars unloading there in the 1950's. Mi School Supply was in that building that you refer to with the loading doors.


http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1003759 Scroll down to Lansing 1932 section and you will see a photograph that lines up with the spur on Grand...Sorry the picture would not post by itself.

See the building with the unloading doors at the corner of Grand and Ionia here???...I saw box cars there as a child.

Also another photograph shows the LS&MS Depot and humped Shiawassee St Bridge...
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Larry G
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

Shiawasee St Bridge from LOC Collection...Several views of the bridge and the RR girder Span incorporated into the structure.

http://loc.gov/pictures/item/mi0414/ LOC Link

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by J T »

Larry G wrote:I think it came up Grand Parallel to the street on the west side to at least Ionia and perhaps to almost Mich Ave. I can remember box cars unloading there in the 1950's. Mi School Supply was in that building that you refer to with the loading doors.


http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1003759 Scroll down to Lansing 1932 section and you will see a photograph that lines up with the spur on Grand...Sorry the picture would not post by itself.

See the building with the unloading doors at the corner of Grand and Ionia here???...I saw box cars there as a child.
This is the only photo that I can see that angled building in...and it's tough to see any spur crossing Grand in this shot. Also, it's amazing how Washington Ave looks here...like such a major thoroughfare.

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

It would be hard to see the tracks in the pavement from this height. As I recall the tracks were set right into the pavement and no ties were visable...........
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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Image

When only the connection to the power plant came down from Old Town, circa 1994. The spur leading by the slanted building and onto Grand has been long gone by then.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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Hmm...I thought those tracks to the BWL building were taken out in the 80s. I went to LCC in the late 80s and I don't remember them still being in place. Maybe my memory has become a bit distorted. :lol:

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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J T wrote:Hmm...I thought those tracks to the BWL building were taken out in the 80s. I went to LCC in the late 80s and I don't remember them still being in place. Maybe my memory has become a bit distorted. :lol:
I am not sure either, 1994 was the date on the LOC materials........ :?: :lol:
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by J T »

Thanks for the photos and links today, Larry. I always love a good railroad history lesson. :D

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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Image

LS&MS Plow Extra at what appears to be the Lansing Depot from roof line and top.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Ben Higdon »

GP30M4216 wrote:
Actually, I believe the orientation of MA to the tracks is authentic:
You're right!

Thanks for posting the pic!

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

J T wrote:Larry, can you also confirm the existence of another spur off the BWL spur? All my life I've had a memory of tracks crossing Grand Ave at Ionia as I can picture riding in my mom's car in the early 70s and seeing that crossing. The building at the NE corner of Grand and Ionia is angled to allow tracks to curve around it (and even has loading dock doors). If you can remember this spur, do you know how far west of Grand it went and where to?

Image



EDIT:

Just saw your post above! Thank you for confirming! :D
Larry G wrote:It is what I remember up to the crossing....Not sure about if there was a diamond there.

Also you may not know this...The Line did not end at the BWL power plant. A spur came of that line just before the power plant and came up onto Grand Ave, crossed it and ran parallel with Grand to almost Michigan Ave. There was some sort of mill with a loading dock there. Today the Radison Hotel sits on that ground!!!

Found this map of Lansing's RR with the power plant and Grand St. spurs:
Image
It clearly shows the spur running up Grand towards MI Ave. Also shows a diamond at the LS&MS grade and a wye with the C&O(PM)(NYC)
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by J T »

Larry G wrote: Found this map of Lansing's RR with the power plant and Grand St. spurs:
Image
It clearly shows the spur running up Grand towards MI Ave. Also shows a diamond at the LS&MS grade and a wye with the C&O(PM)(NYC)
Great find! And it clearly shows my suspected configuration just south of Saginaw. :)

It's interesting to see old city maps like this. No Grand Ave. and Logan St. doesn't extend all the way up to Grand River, as it just ends at Willow/Werner. And now that I picture that stretch that is missing on the map, it does seem like a later addition.

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

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The USGS Topograpic maps of that area also have an incredible amount of detail of all the rail lines and road names and can be downloaded:


North Lansing
http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatal ... _North.pdf

South Lansing
http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatal ... _South.pdf

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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

J T wrote:
Larry G wrote: Found this map of Lansing's RR with the power plant and Grand St. spurs:
Image
It clearly shows the spur running up Grand towards MI Ave. Also shows a diamond at the LS&MS grade and a wye with the C&O(PM)(NYC)
Great find! And it clearly shows my suspected configuration just south of Saginaw. :)

It's interesting to see old city maps like this. No Grand Ave. and Logan St. doesn't extend all the way up to Grand River, as it just ends at Willow/Werner. And now that I picture that stretch that is missing on the map, it does seem like a later addition.
I found this map here:
http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/M ... ap1916.htm
From NYC Railroad 1916 Annual Report
[NYC System Historical Society, Michigan Central District]
It reinforced all those memories of childhood when there were box cars sitting on Grand St at that mill like building about where the Radison and Parking Ramp are today. There is a great picture of those buildings on the skyline link listed in one of my previous posts...unfortunately delivery trucks are parked by the railroad unloading doors and no train cars are visible...tracks were recessed in the pavement and do no show up either at this resoulution. Tried to enhance the pictures but could not see the tracks.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

Michael wrote:The USGS Topograpic maps of that area also have an incredible amount of detail of all the rail lines and road names and can be downloaded:


North Lansing
http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatal ... _North.pdf

South Lansing
http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatal ... _South.pdf
Thanks for the links...great details of the entire LS&MS route throughout Lansing. As far as I know the tracks are still inplace from South of the CN (GTW) crossing to SW near Pleasant Grove Rd. SW of there the ROW is hard to detect except for the bridge piers in the Grand River at Diamondale and a short strech that crosses Island Hwy between Charlotte and Mason.

In the 1960's lots of switching happened between Mt Hope and Logan (MLK) when those forging mills where in business. At one time the BWL had a huge coal storage pile located alongside South Washington Park.
See this picture:
Image
NYC Switcher
Switcher and Caboose pass Melling Forging in Lansing. Now, NYC and melling are both HISTORY !!

Can also remember a Wig-Wag Crossing Signal at the Maple St crossing south of Baker St near the old Diamond Reo complex. Last time down that way it was just a crossbuck.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by Larry G »

Image
Looking down on Grand St at the corner of Ionia circa 1936. Mi Ave is street on far left
Railroad spur came up alongside the buildings with RR level doors and ran almost to Mi Ave.
No train cars visible in picture and resolution does not show tracks in pavement. Today the Radison Hotel and parking ramp sit here.
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Re: Lansing's Old Town railroad spur to be reactivated

Unread post by PAT.C »

THIS THREAD IS GR8888888888888!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

HAVING LIVED IN LANSING [ACTUALLY DELTA TOWNSHIP SINCE 1971] AND DRIVING THRU IT SINCE 1955 , I REMEMBER A LOT OF THIS.

KEEP ADDING PICS AND INFO AS YOU CAN .

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